by Zayd Dohrn
This play was sent to be by a friend when I was looking for good scenes between two women. It's a three-character play about a girl named Kelly who creates "reborn" dolls, meaning she paints dolls to look as humanly realistic as possible based on a photograph of her client's child. The story revolves around Kelly, her boyfriend Daizy ("hippie parents," he says) and Emily, a client of Kelly's. Most of the play focuses on Kelly's obsession with working on baby Eva, commissioned by Emily. She becomes OCD about making Eva more and more realistic and eventually convinces herself that Emily is actually her mother who abandoned her years ago and is using this doll as a way to make Kelly realize that she's come back for her. The play takes us to a dark side of grief and into a world of denial .. one of Kelly's clients goes so far as to push her "reborn baby" in a stroller at the mall.
When I Google'd the title of the play a list of links about the "reborning" process appeared - I was shocked at how realistic some of these dolls look. Apparently there is a lot of debate about how the dolls are used in the grieving process - whether they do more harm than good.. some people use the dolls to fill the void of a lost child and often they end up caring for the doll as if it were their child. For some these dolls help them to move on but some people never can move past it and the doll is a constant reminder of the child that is no longer around. That being said, some just collect the dolls as they would any other dolls. Reading this play, I learned about a niche market that I never knew existed. The characters are dynamic, the relationships are complicated, the subject matter is controversial. I dig it.
Tuesday Play-a-day: Lend Me a Tenor by Ken Ludwig